Songs for a melancholic winter

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Friday, February 28th, 2020 at 3:04 PM
Songs for a melancholic winter by Thomas Taylor
Lewis Capaldi's album cover. | Photo: Capitol Records

With spring break in just a few weeks, the weather in Edinboro can be unpredictable; it can be sunny and bright, but it can be rainy and snowy, as winter in Edinboro is always just on the horizon. Over the past few weeks, the weather can’t seem to make up its mind on whether to dump a foot of snow on the ground or have partly cloudy weather with the sun peeking out behind the clouds.

It can be frustrating for a lot of students whose method of transportation, mood and clothing depend on what “Mother Nature” decides to bring to campus.

My playlist will often vary depending on my mood, but for the past few weeks, it’s been a roller-coaster of emotions due to classes and the weather. There are bright spots of happiness, just like the sun, but it’s muddled by the sadness of a windy and chilling reality. In honor of academic stress and the weather’s inability to make up its mind, here is my playlist of songs for a melancholic winter.

1. “Someone You Loved” - Lewis Capaldi

A simple piano riff both begins the song and carries it throughout, no matter the chords or where you are in the song discovered this song a few months back, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Capaldi’s raw vocals add power and tragedy to heartbreak, an emotional experience that almost everyone goes through at some point in their lives. After experiencing heartbreak a few months back, I listened to this song, which gave me a sense of acknowledgement, but also a sense of clarity. This song is one you can listen to on a dark, stormy winter night, as you walk the path around Mallory Lake and ponder the events of your life.

2. “You Want it Darker” - Leonard Cohen

Time seems to pass slowly. Sometimes the clouds break to reveal sunlight, but other times you look to find the darkness of clouds and shadows bathe you in a dark storm of uncertainty, waiting to break at any moment. This song was recorded just days before Cohen’s death, and paints a picture of the calmness before a storm. The choir and the organ, along with bursts of electric guitar and drums add a solemn feel to the song that can’t be broken. Cohen’s gravely bass shows a man reflecting on his life, and the morals and sins of mankind before dying and going onto the next life. The storm of death is just ready to break, and we many never know what lies ahead in the next life.

3. “All Is Found”- Evan Rachel Wood

“Frozen 2’ is a remarkable film, and this track brings out a partly cloudy day, where you watch as a leaf flows down a large river. First sung by Anna and Elsa’s mother, played by Evan Rachel Wood, it presents a calling to a larger journey in life. The simple sound in the song of the echoing guitar makes it feel like folk music. and with the strings in the background and the twinkling of featured instruments, the lullaby the mother sings has a complex instrumentation which adds to the emotion. Not only do the lyrics serve as a major motif throughout the film, but also allows the characters to feel more grounded. In this world of magic and mystery, the calm yet haunting sounds of a lullaby make you reflect on destiny and change, whether in Arendelle or in Edinboro.

4. “April She Will Come,” “Scarborough Fair/Canticle”- Simon & Garfunkel

Although these are technically two songs, I decided to include both because of how well they complement each other. “April She Will Come” is a tune about the months passing by. One of the things I love about this song is the simplicity, both in the instrumentation and the lyrics. Art Garfunkel’s vocals have a soothing vibe, especially when combined with Paul Simon’s great guitar work. “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” adds more complex harmonies, along with xylophone and different types of guitars. The layering of voices is brilliant. One of the reasons these two work well together is because there’s an element of mystery to both.

5. “Dermatillomania”- Laura Stevenson

I first heard this song on the NPR show “Tiny Desk Concert” — it was different than the original recording. The difference was in the use of electric guitar versus acoustic. Even with the change, the message of the song remains the same. Although it has a happy and upbeat melody and tune, there’s a sadness that lurks within the lyrics that contrasts the sound in the best way.  Stevenson’s voice balances well with the electric guitar, as she sings lyrics about moving on in life. She has this echo that reflects the spirit of the lyrics, and is lost in a foggy haze of memories trying to see the world in a clearer way.

Check out this playlist and more on our Spotify.

Tags: playlist

View Our YouTube Channel
Edinboro TV
Find Us on Instagram